Gripping the golf club properly is the first step toward making a good golf swing. If you are not gripping the club in the correct manner your swing could be affected in many different ways. The three keys to gripping a golf club correctly are fit, alignment, and pressure.
Fit – Yeah Guys, Size Does Matter!
Grip size is probably the most important part of being able to grip the golf club properly. Too small of a grip can cause the club to twist in your hands, a result of unconsciously squeezing the club at the bottom of the swing, resulting in a closed clubface. Too large of a grip and the club may come loose at impact, opening the club face. Either way, you’re not going to be making good, solid contact with any amount of consistency.
Along with making sure the grip size is correct for your hands, you’ll need to make sure you are not playing with worn out grips. Grips become worn out and slick through normal wear and tear, oxidization, and moisture damage. A tired or worn out grip will not provide the traction you need to keep the golf club stable throughout your swing. Replacing grips is easy and inexpensive and can make a world of difference in your golf game.
Alignment – Pointing the V’s!
Having the proper grip alignment is a key factor in getting the clubface squared at impact. Too weak of a grip, rotating one or both hands away from the other, promotes an open clubface, resulting in a push or slice. Too strong of a grip, rotating one or both hands more towards the other, promotes a closed clubface, resulting in a pull or hook.
The best way to make sure that your grip is properly aligned is to check the V’s. The V’s are the angle between your thumb and forefinger on each hand. These should point between your chin and back shoulder.
Experiment with weaker and stronger grips at the driving range to see how they affect your ball flight. You’ll find that the only way to consistently make accurate golf shots is by keeping your grip aligned properly.
Pressure – Firm and Relaxed – Don’t Choke It!
The most common mistake golfers make is trying to choke the golf club. They figure that if you squeeze harder you’ll hit the ball harder. Wrong! Choking the golf club actually tenses the muscles in your arms, which hinders a smooth swing and follow through, resulting in less distance and accuracy.
You want to be able to grip the club firmly, while keeping your arms relaxed. Only put enough pressure on it to keep it from sliding around in your hands. If you are not applying enough pressure the golf club will twist and rotate during the swing. To make sure you’ve got it right, have someone try and pull the golf club out of your grip. They shouldn’t be able to. If they can, tighten your grip a little bit. Just make sure to keep your arms relaxed.
Remember, having the proper grip will lay the foundation for a good golf swing. Don’t change your grip to correct a problem somewhere else or you could end up with an even less consistent golf swing and poorer shot results.